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# GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns

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24 Jun 2010, 04:50
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 NOUNS

This post is a part of [GMAT GRAMMAR BOOK]

created by: bb
edited by: dzyubam

A noun can be a person, place, or thing. Nouns can be the actor of a sentence (as the subject), a receiver of the action (as the object/complement), or contained in a prepositional phrase to add more information to the idea of the sentence.

The Noun Phrase

A noun phrase is a group of words that ends with a noun and can contain determiners (a, an, the, these, etc), adjectives and adverbs. Both subjects and complements often consist of noun phrases. A prepositional phrase is NOT considered a noun phrase.

Count and Non-Count Nouns

A noun that can be counted is called a count noun.
chair – one chair, two chairs, three chairs…
boy – one boy, two boys, three boys…
dog – one dog, two dogs, three dogs…

A noun that cannot be counted is called a non-count noun.
coffee – you cannot say: one coffee, two coffees, etc.

However, you can make some non-count nouns countable by placing them into a countable container.
Can of coffee – one can of coffee, two cans of coffee…

The following chart gives some common non-count nouns and their groupings.

1. WHOLE GROUPS CONSISTING OF SIMILAR ITEMS: jewelry, traffic, clothing, furniture, luggage, scenery, mail, makeup, money, cash, food, fruit, equipment, etc.
2. FLUIDS: water, blood, oil, tea, milk, gasoline, soup, etc
3. SOLIDS: wood, meat, bread, butter, ice, gold, silver, glass, wool, paper, iron, etc.
4. GASES: air, smoke, pollution, nitrogen, oxygen, steam, etc.
5. PARTICLES: sand, salt, sugar, flour, dust, corn, wheat, grass, hair, chalk, dirt, etc.
6. ABSTRACTIONS: advice, beauty, courage, education, energy, fun, grammar, health, help, homework, information, intelligence, knowledge, luck, music, news, peace, progress, slang, sleep, space, time, truth, vocabulary, wealth, work, etc.
7. LANGUAGES: Chinese, English, German, Spanish, etc.
8. FIELDS OF STUDY: chemistry, history, literature, mathematics, etc.
9. RECREATIONAL SPORTS: baseball, chess, football, poker, soccer, tennis, etc.

Some common irregular count nouns are listed below.

child = children
man = men
person = people
woman = women
foot = feet
mouse = mice
tooth = teeth

Exercise 2: Identifying Count and Non-Count Nouns

Identify the following nouns as countable or non-countable by placing a “C” after countable nouns and a “N” after non-countable nouns.

Examples:
algebra N

minute
clothing
canyon
gas
smoke
food
eye
bus
spoon
milk
math

Articles

A And An

A or an only precede singular count nouns and refer to one thing. Either is used for a general statement, or to introduce a new subject that has not been mentioned before.

A leopard has spots. (in general – speaking of all leopards)
I talked to a girl today. (We are introducing this subject. We don’t know which girl.)

A is used with words that begin with a consonant sound. An is used with words that begin with a vowel sound.

A car
an elephant

Some words can be confusing because the pronunciation is different from the spelling. Listening to the sound will help determine which article is used.

Words such as union, uniform, university and European, eucalyptus, eulogy have a long “u” sound which is the same sound as y in yellow or yard. Therefore, they are considered to have a consonant sound and a is used before these words.

A yellow dog ran past us. A uniform is required for school.
A yard consists of three feet. I went to school with a European.

Some words have a silent first letter, so the correct article depends on the heard sound. Words such as hot, home and head have a pronounced “h” consonant sound and, thus, begin with a. However, words such as honor, hour and herb have a silent “h” and are considered to have a vowel sound.

It is a hot day. It was an honor to meet the president.

The

Use the when you know, or assume, that the listener is familiar with the same person, place, or thing that you are talking about.

The earth is a beautiful planet. (There is only one earth.)
The teacher asked me a question. (It is assumed the listener knows your teacher.)

Use the with non-count nouns only when you are speaking specifically. If you are speaking in general, no article is used.

Water is wet. (general)
The water in the stream is cold. (specific water located in the stream)

The same rule applies for plural count nouns. Specific plural count nouns use the, while general plural count nouns do not.

I like apples. (all apples)
The apples on the tree are not ripe. (specific apples on the tree)

 USE The WITH DON’T USE The WITH oceans, seas, rivers, gulfs, plural lakes: the Pacific Ocean, the Caspian Sea, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico, the Finger Lakes singular lakes:Lake Titicaca, Lake Michigan mountains: the Smoky Mountains, the Andes mounts: Mount Rushmore, Mount St. Helens sun, moon, earth: the sun, the moon, the earth planets, constellations: Mercury, Saturn, Gemini, Leo schools, colleges, universities (when the phrase begins with one of these words): the School of Fine Arts, the University of Southern California schools, colleges, universities (when the phrase begins with a proper noun): Arizona University, Bardstown Community College ordinal numbers before nouns: the First Amendment, the third floor cardinal numbers after nouns: Apollo One, floor three wars (except world wars): the Vietnam War, the War of 1812 World War One, World War Two certain countries or groups of countries with more than one word (except Great Britain): the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates countries preceded by New or an adjective such as a direction: New Zealand, South Africa, North Koreaone word countries: China, Australia, Germany, Italycontinents: Asia, North America, South Americastates: Kentucky, Alabama, Utah, California historical documents: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights sports: baseball, volleyball, football, soccerabstract nouns: intelligence, beauty, happinessgeneral areas of subject matter: science, algebra, social studiesholidays: New Year, Christmas, Thanksgiving

Exercise 3: Using Articles

Fill in the blanks of the following sentences using a, an, the, or Ø (if no article is needed).

1. John is wearing _______ baseball cap today.
2. _______ chair is _______ useful piece of furniture.
3. _______ chairs in _______ living room are antiques.
4. She cried when she peeled _______ onion.
5. _______ women like to wear _______ jewelry.
6. _______ jewelry that my sister wears is made of _______ gold.
7. When you look at _______ moon, you can see _______ face.
8. _______ hour ago I saw _______ eagle flying overhead.
9. _______ life can be fun, but sometimes there are _______ problems.
10. _______ last time I saw ________ bear, I was travelling in _______ Europe.

Other

Often, correctly using the word other can be confusing. The word another and other are not specific, while the other is specific. If the subject is understood then other can be used as a pronoun. If the understood noun is a plural count noun then other becomes others. (Note: other CANNOT be plural if followed by a noun.) Look at the following examples.

This knife is dull. Please give me another.
(an + other + singular noun = any other knife – not specific)

This knife is dull. Please give me the other.
(the other + singular noun = the only other option – specific)

This cake is delicious. Other cakes are delicious also.
OR This cake is delicious. Others are delicious also.
(other + plural noun = other cakes: not specific) Since the subject is understood from the first sentence, you can omit the plural noun “cakes” in the second sentence and pluralize other to others.

These apples are bad. I want the other apples.
OR These apples are bad. I want the others.
(the other + plural noun = other apples: specific) Since the subject is understood from the first sentence, you can omit the plural noun “apples” in the second sentence and pluralize the other to the others.

You can also substitute other + one (for a singular noun) and other + ones (for a plural noun.)

This knife is dull. Please give me another one. (not specific)

This knife is dull. Please give me the other one. (specific)

This cake is delicious. Other ones are delicious also. (not specific)

These apples are bad. I want the other ones. (specific)

Exercise 4: Using Other

Fill in the blanks of the following sentences with the correct form of other.
1. I received two gifts for my birthday. One was from my parents. _______________ one was from my brother.
2. This pie is fantastic! Can I have __________________ piece?
3. These pants don’t fit well. Let me try ____________________ ones.
4. I have a large stamp collection. The stamps in this section are from the United States. __________________ are from ________________ places in the world.
5. Joshua likes to wear Nike shoes. He won’t wear any ________________ brand.
6. I’m almost finished with my homework. I just need ________________ ten minutes.
7. John, Melissa and I are going to the movies. ___________________ are going to the Craft Fair.
8. This house is brand new. _____________________ house is really old.
9. We like to swim. _________________ like to surf, and still ________________ like to ski.
10. You can buy this shirt and ___________________ one. Which ________________ would you like?

Determiners of Quantity

Words that determine quantity are used to show how much of something to which you are referring. Some expressions of quantity are only used with count nouns, some are only used
with non count nouns and others are used with both. Study the chart below.

 Determiners of Quantity With Count Nouns With Non Count Nouns one each every one ball each ball every ball Ø Ø Ø two, three, etc. both a couple of a few several many a number of two balls both balls a couple of balls a few balls several balls many balls a number of balls Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø a little much a great deal of Ø Ø Ø a little water much water a great deal of water no some/any a lot of/lots of plenty of most all no balls some/any balls a lot of/lots of balls plenty of balls most balls all balls no water some/any water a lot of/lots of water plenty of water most water all water

Exercise 5: Determining Quantity

Cross out the words that CANNOT be used to complete each sentence correctly. An example is given in sentence number two.
 1. Joan drank __________ sodas.a. fiveb. a fewc. hardly anyd. severale. nof. a lot ofg. a great deal ofh. too muchi. somej. a number ofk. too manyl. a little 2. Randy drank _________ coffee.a. fiveb. a fewc. hardly anyd. severale. nof. a lot ofg. a great deal ofh. too muchi. somej. a number ofk. too manyl. a little

Collective Nouns

Some nouns reflect a group of people or animals and are usually singular. Following are examples of some common collective nouns.

army
audience
class
club
Congress
crowd
family
flock
gang
government
group
majority
minority
organization
pack
public
staff
team

Our class is going on a field trip today.
The pack of dogs was chasing the deer.
The public is against the war.
Our team is playing the champions next week.

Nouns That Are Always Plural

Some nouns are always plural and cannot be singular, unless used in the phrase “a pair of _________”.

eyeglasses
jeans
pants
pliers
scissors
shorts
slacks
trousers
tongs
tweezers

My favorite jeans are in the washer.
This pair of jeans needs to be washed.
My eyeglasses are new.
This pair of eyeglasses is new.

Many nouns can function as adjectives when they are coupled with other nouns. The first noun acts to describe the second noun. Nouns which function as adjectives are always singular, even when they modify a plural noun.

The car doors have all been replaced.
We hurried to get to the train station.
This gold coin is worth a lot.

When number noun combinations are used, they are always hyphenated.

The hike was eight hours to the temple. BUT It was an eight-hour hike to the temple.
These tickets cost forty dollars. BUT These are forty-dollar tickets.

Think something is missing? Let us know - Help Improve GMAT Club's Grammar Book Project!
This post is a part of [GMAT GRAMMAR BOOK]

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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2010, 22:48
examples make it easy

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07 Jul 2010, 14:28
thnks for creating this

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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2010, 13:42
Grammar has always been my nemesis thanks for this post......
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30 Aug 2010, 16:40
kudos ! +1

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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2010, 10:11
Can I use "The" with a singular countable noun if the usage is specific in nature?

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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2010, 12:38
Welcome to the Club!

Can you give an example? I don't think I understand you question well. Sorry.
myside88 wrote:
Can I use "The" with a singular countable noun if the usage is specific in nature?

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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2010, 12:46
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myside88 wrote:
Can I use "The" with a singular countable noun if the usage is specific in nature?

I think so but agree with dzyubam, you really need an example.... We do have a post on articles coming.
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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns [#permalink]

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05 Sep 2010, 03:09
I must be sleeping when I first read your post.Its well written and my doubt should not have cropped up in the first place itself.

anyways;

Example:- "The apple I bought yesterday was actually shipped from New Zealand."

apple-singular countable noun.

You have already given a similar example.

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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns [#permalink]

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05 Sep 2010, 09:11
Where are the answers to the exercises? Please post them so that I can cross check.

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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns [#permalink]

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05 Sep 2010, 09:50

You can see all available sections of the grammar book in this thread:
gmat-grammar-book-96532.html
neo123 wrote:
Where are the answers to the exercises? Please post them so that I can cross check.

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06 Sep 2010, 07:16
Thanks a lot for the answers.

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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns [#permalink]

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06 Nov 2010, 03:44
Hi,

Excersie 4 Queries: Why are we using "the" in both these answers?

3. These pants don’t fit well. Let me try ___the other___ ones.

7. John, Melissa and I are going to the movies. ___The others___ are going to the Craft Fair.

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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2010, 03:54
Thanks a lot for this chapter!
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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2010, 12:59
Hi,
I just wanted to know wat is the difference between a lot of water and lots of water?

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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2010, 21:22
Good explanation of basic concepts... thanks...

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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns [#permalink]

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19 Jan 2011, 21:42
Hello,

Can someone please explain usage of "The" in
2. _The__ chair is ___a____ useful piece of furniture.

Also, why is this incorrect?
Chair is __a__ useful piece of furniture.
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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns [#permalink]

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20 Jan 2011, 00:02
Two questions on Exercise 4

4. I have a large stamp collection. The stamps in this section are from the United States.
___Others___ are from ___other___ places in the world.

Why not "The Others" instead of "Others"?
"The Others are from other places in the world"

10. You can buy this shirt and ___another____ one. Which ___other____ would you like?

Has it been just the first part, would usage of "the other" also be correct? as
You can buy this shirt and ___the other____ one.
You can buy this shirt and ___another____ one.
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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns [#permalink]

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20 Jan 2011, 00:28
Exercise 5:
Any can be used as singular as well as plural.

Can someone please explain why "hardly any" is incorrect?
1. Joan drank __________ sodas.

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20 Jan 2011, 00:46
Last set of questions in this section.

When number noun combinations are used, they are always hyphenated.
The hike was eight hours to the temple.
Question - If "eight hours" is an object with eight being an adjective and hours being a noun, why isn't there a hyphen in "eight hours" i.e. "eight-hours"?

These tickets cost forty dollars.
Same question as the previous sentence.

It was an eight-hour hike to the temple.
Question - Here, is "eight-hour" an adjective to the noun hike?

Is it correct to put a hyphen in below as -
The hike was twenty-eight hours to the temple.

These are forty-dollar tickets.
Same question as the previous sentence.

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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Nouns   [#permalink] 20 Jan 2011, 00:46

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